Eric B. Kmiec, Ph.D., is the founder and director of the Gene Editing Institute at ChristianaCare. Widely recognized for his pioneering work in the fields of molecular medicine and gene editing, Dr. Kmiec has developed CRISPR based genetic therapies for Sickle Cell Disease and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Dr. Kmiec holds faculty appointments at the University of Delaware and the Wistar Institute and has been an NIH and National Science Foundation supported principal investigator for 35 years. His laboratory has made major discoveries in the CRISPR/gene editing field, and he serves on numerous editorial boards, authoring 169 peer-reviewed publications and books. He has served as primary mentor for 18 doctoral students and numerous postdoctoral scholars.
Dr. Kmiec is an accomplished speaker in human gene editing and its social and ethical impacts. He has received numerous service medals and awards including the Eminent Scholar at Marshall University, Proudford Award in Sickle Cell Disease, Bio-Science Innovation Awards, and the Philadelphia Life Science Innovator Award.
Areas of Expertise (3)
University of Florida: Ph.D., Molecular Biology / Biochemistry 1984
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville: M.S., Cell Biology / Biochemistry 1980
Rutgers University: B.A., Microbiology 1978
Media Appearances (12)
Affordable CRISPR app reveals unintended mutations at site of CRISPR gene repair
EurekAlert! | The American Association for the Advancement of Science online
Wilmington, DE, Feb. 11, 2020 -Scientists have developed an affordable, downloadable app that scans for potential unintended mistakes when CRISPR is used to repair mutations that cause disease. The app reveals potentially risky DNA alterations that could impede efforts to safely use CRISPR to correct mutations in conditions like sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis.
New App Can Reveal Unintentional Mutations of a CRISPR Edit
CRISPR Medicine News online
A team of scientists from ChristianaCare's Gene Editing Institute in Delaware, US have developed a new customisable app that they say will make it much easier to find out what happened during a CRISPR experiment.
Affordable CRISPR App Reveals Unintended Mutations At Site Of CRISPR Gene Repair
Study in The CRISPR Journal reports the app advances CRISPR gene therapy R&D; 18-year-old software savant helped lead the app’s development Wilmington, DE, Feb. 11, 2020 -Scientists have developed an affordable, downloadable app that scans for potential unintended mistakes when CRISPR is used to repair mutations that cause disease. The app reveals potentially risky DNA alterations that could impede efforts to safely use CRISPR to correct mutations in conditions like sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis.
Gene Editing Education Addresses Health Disparities
CEO Council For Growth online
A commitment to community, reducing inequity and health disparities in health care, educating the next generation in gene editing, and advocating that all people have access to breakthrough technologies have long been priorities for the Gene Editing Institute at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute at ChristianaCare in Delaware. Eric Kmiec, Ph.D. a pioneer in the field of gene editing and director of the Gene Editing Institute, recently had an opportunity to talk about these priorities as part of a media briefing coordinated in conjunction with the region’s Cell & Gene Therapy and Connected Health Initiative.
ChristianaCare Gene Editing Institute gets $1M grant to advance CRISPR work
Philadelphia Business Journal online
The Lisa Dean Moseley Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to scientists at ChristianaCare’s Gene Editing Institute to advance a novel gene therapy for sickle cell disease.
Potential Inequities in New Medical Technologies
Scientific American online
Even if we solve the ethical questions about using breakthrough techniques such as CRISPR, will all patients have equal access? As headline-catching new technologies emerge—like tools to “edit” our DNA—researchers, doctors, patients and the general public are excited about the future of medicine and the research that informs its practice. For some, there are obvious and critical conversations taking place about the ethics of this research, including how we do it (think “CRISPR babies” in China) and the potential for edits (intentional or otherwise) that could be passed on to future generations. These conversations are important, but they can overshadow another equally important question. Will all patients have equal access to these new technologies?
First U.S. use of CRISPR to directly target cancer will seek go-ahead from regulators
“We have to be modest,” said Eric Kmiec, director of Christiana’s Gene Editing Institute. “The goal is to give them a few more months of life, but we hope there will be additional benefits.”...
Trial to assess CRISPR genome editing platform in non-small cell lung cancer
“We are hopeful that the results of our animal studies now enable us to take the next step in the FDA approval process for a cancer clinical trial using CRISPR,” Eric Kmiec, PhD, director of ChristianaCare’s Gene Editing Institute, said in a press release. “It is an exciting journey. Our effort positions the Gene Editing Institute to bring this heralded technology to people who need it the most.”...
Delaware-developed CRISPR cancer therapy edging closer to human testing
Philadelphia Business Journal
ChristianaCare's Gene Editing Institute is using the gene-editing tool CRISPR in an effort to improve a lung cancer therapy...
ChristianaCare continues to lessen cancer diagnostic time with new CRISPR techniques
Delaware Public Media
Dr. Eric Kmiec is the Director of ChristianaCare’s Gene Editing Institute at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center. He says this latest breakthrough allows doctors to recreate the genetic makeup of a malignant tumor in less than 24 hours. “We have furthered the work and developed it into a method for improving cancer diagnosis,” said Kmiec...
Scientists report CRISPR restores effectiveness of lung cancer treatment
"Our goal is to see if CRISPR can be used with chemotherapy to provide a safe, affordable way to give patients who are not responding to treatment at least a fighting chance against this very challenging cancer," said Eric Kmiec, Ph.D., the principal author of the study and the director of the Gene Editing Institute. "We believe that finding ways to use CRISPR to improve existing treatments will lead to some of the first benefits for patients while we tackle the vital ethical issues around the use of CRISPR for edits that can be passed on through DNA. This is an exciting step in the journey of exploring the health benefits of gene editing."...
Researchers tackle sickle cell disease with CRISPR-based gene editing
Scientists at ChristianaCare's Gene Editing Institute have received a $1 million grant from the Lisa Dean Moseley Foundation to develop a novel gene therapy for inherited blood disorders including sickle cell disease, offering hope to nearly 100,000 Americans suffering from the disease who are disproportionately African American.
Selected Papers and Publications (5)
Potential Inequities in New Medical TechnologiesScientific American
Eric B. Kmiec, Jonathan Marron
As headline-catching new technologies emerge—like tools to “edit” our DNA—researchers, doctors, patients and the general public are excited about the future of medicine and the research that informs its practice. For some, there are obvious and critical conversations taking place about the ethics of this research, including how we do it (think “CRISPR babies” in China) and the potential for edits (intentional or otherwise) that could be passed on to future generations.
Understanding the diversity of genetic outcomes from CRISPR-Cas generated homology-directed repairNature
Brett M. Sansbury, Amanda M. Hewes & Eric B. Kmiec
As CRISPR-Cas systems advance toward clinical application, it is essential to identify all the outcomes of gene-editing activity in human cells. Reports highlighting the remarkable success of homology-directed repair (HDR) in the treatment of inherited diseases may inadvertently underreport the collateral activity of this remarkable technology.
Deconvolution of Complex DNA Repair (DECODR): Establishing a Novel Deconvolution Algorithm for Comprehensive Analysis of CRISPR-Edited Sanger Sequencing DataMary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Kevin Bloh, Rohan Kanchana, Pawel Bialk, Kelly Banas, Zugui Zhang, Byung-Chun Yoo, and Eric B. Kmiec
During CRISPR-directed gene editing, multiple gene repair mechanisms interact to produce a wide and largely unpredictable variety of sequence changes across an edited population of cells. Shortcomings inherent to previously available proposal-based insertion and deletion (indel) analysis software necessitated the development of a more comprehensive tool that could detect a larger range and variety of indels while maintaining the ease of use of tools currently available.
Precise and error-prone CRISPR-directed gene editing activity in human CD34+ cells varies widely among patient samplesNature
Shirin R. Modarai, Sambee Kanda, Kevin Bloh, Lynn M. Opdenaker & Eric B. Kmiec
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) and their associated CRISPR-associated nucleases (Cas) are among the most promising technologies for the treatment of hemoglobinopathies including Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).
The Diversity of Genetic Outcomes from CRISPR/Cas Gene Editing is Regulated by the Length of the Symmetrical Donor DNA TemplateMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Amanda M. Hewes, Brett M. Sansbury, Eric B. Kmiec
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas gene editing systems have enabled molecular geneticists to manipulate prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes with greater efficiency and precision. CRISPR/Cas provides adaptive immunity in bacterial cells by degrading invading viral genomes.